Wednesday, July 28, 2010

W-A-R! What is it good for?

...absolutely nothin

Even though the wife and I are off the ‘grid’, we still can’t completely escape the latest media hype and hoopla that sneaks into the internet and other forms of communication like Facebook and Twitter.

I was somewhat dumbfounded by all the attention being given to the leaking of 90,000+ Pentagon documents about the Afghanistan War against the Taliban and Al-Quida. News sources are buzzing over these documents, eager to point out secrets that the government has withheld and ‘atrocities’ that have gone unreported. Lions and Tigers and Bears…Ow My!

Where in the hell did we become such a gullible and miss-informed society? It is called W-A-R people, which is another way of saying ‘legalized murder at the strategic level’.

Somewhere in the past few decades, many Americans have been mislead into the concept that W-A-R means surgically removing a single ant from an entire acre of corn, without harming a single stalk. Sorry, that isn’t W-A-R….that would be called espionage or counter-terrorism. This isn’t what we are doing in Afghanistan. Look at the congressional record morons. The United Stated declared W-A-R on the Taliban, which was the recognized government of Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane for a second. In World War II (the ‘good’ war), we fire bombed the majority of downtown Tokyo with wave after wave of B-29 Superfortress bombers. The result was about 500,000 killed, and get this…most of them were civilians. Nobody complained.

We also fire bombed the city of Dresden Germany, estimated killed, about 300,000…mostly civilians (and there wasn’t even any industry or infrastructure in that city). No real concern from the public on this either.

In Vietnam, we carpet bombed most of North Vietnam to take out any and all infrastructure including roads, power lines, communications, etc…..and damn, if those pesky civilians didn’t get in the way there as well. Some folks found this a bit extreme.

But now, the media wants to make a big deal over civilian casualties and botched attempts at winning the W-A-R all because of these leaked documents. Well howdy folks….welcome to the concept of total W-A-R.

I don’t seem to recall the terrorists that flew those planes into the World Trade Center or bombed the trains in Madrid as being too concerned about civilian casualties.

I think the concept that most Americans have forgotten, is that when you authorize your country to go to W-A-R, it means winning by any means necessary. The logic being, that Abdul, the 3rd world poppy farmer in Afghanistan, isn’t supposed to let the Taliban camp near his house, because he stands a 99.9% chance of being carpet bombed if he does. That is how you get rid of the Taliban. Make it so undesirable to associate with them that they are shunned by their own countrymen.

You either fight a war all out to win, regardless of the setbacks or the collateral damage, or you don’t. If we don’t like the way the war is being waged on our behalf and for our safety, then just sit back and let the terrorists do what ever they want.

It is sort of difficult to take the moral high ground, when your enemy has no concept of morality. They are at W-A-R and will do anything to win.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Will Work For Cervesa

S.B. 1070

I am going to weigh in on one of the hot button issues around my neck of the woods. I tend to try and stay away from media hype because in my mind, giving attention to pedophiles just makes for more molested children. We should just lynch the bastards and then bury their bodies without a lot of fanfare.

With that mindset, I am going to talk about our favorite topic in the desert southwest these days. ‘Senate Bill 1070’, otherwise known as the immigration reform act in Arizona. This piece of legislation, that is slated to go into effect this week, mandates that Arizona law enforcement (be it county sheriff, local police or state police) check the immigration status of anyone they pull over that they ‘suspect’ might be in the country illegally.

This law has created more hype, and more street protests, and more talk show pundit debates than I ever thought possible. Most citizens here in Arizona find all of this sort of laughable since the vast majority of Arizonians support this law.

The real stupidity of the whole ordeal comes from the morons that don’t understand it and start screaming (literally screaming) that this is the legalization of racial profiling and that every single person that even looks Hispanic is going to slapped in irons and sent off to Tijuana.

Like many other folks that live down here, I was dumbfounded to find out several years ago, that this WASN’T already the law! I assumed, as did most of my friends here in Arizona, that if you were an illegal alien and you got caught stealing a six-pack of Budweiser from Seven-Eleven, that you would be handed over to INS and they would deport you. Nooooo, that is not the case. Seems there is this little thing called jurisdictional guidelines, which says that an illegal alien can only be deported if INS catches them. If local police arrest them, they can't hand them over to INS. Instead, they spend the night in the county jail and are then released. No harm, no foul. This is what S.B.1070 addresses.

I wonder if I go to Russia or Argentina, will I get this good a deal.

There is one thing that you can’t really debate here. Being in the country illegally is wrong. You are breaking the law if you do. The only question really is, who has the jurisdiction to arrest and deport you. That is what the whole SB1070 debate is about. Those screaming that it shouldn’t be the state, obviously only want the Federal Government to do this…..and they are woefully understaffed. If the president allocated 10 billion dollars to INS to put 5,000 troops on the Board to arrest and detain illegal aliens coming across the border, would they still be protesting? Probably.

This isn’t about right or wrong, this is about getting a free ride and not being held accountable. The illegal immagrants aren't being held accountable and the Federal Government isn't being held accountable. Arizona does something to hold them all accountable, and we get labeled as fear mongers and racial purists.

In the end, I find it fascinating that the media outlets only focus on the negative issues of a small vocal minority, and that very few say that this is a good idea, because if forces the Federal Government to be more responsible. It is all hype and ratings and pandering to the lowest common denominator, which are the screaming women holding their infants yelling 'Don't deport our babies!'.

In the end, what will it all accomplish? Well, the assumption is……that most of the illegal residents will be moving to New Mexico or California, then they can find ways to deal with them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fear of Failure

Just Cut The Wire

I have been mulling over my current situation these past few weeks. Things have been frustrating, more so, because of the load of things that have fallen my way. As they say, it is often times feast of famine. With regard to the complexities of my personal and professional life, it is feast these days. There is too much to do and not enough time.

As I have said in the past, on many a blog here, this sort of situation is compounded by those that can’t do things for themselves and seek others as a resource to help them cope with their problems. These are the needy people in the world. And it may be just me, but it seems like they are getting more and more numerous.

I have often mulled over the horrible thought, that this is the country that rallied and defeated the Nazis and the Japanese in WWII, but I have serious concerns if we could accomplish such a feat again in the future. We seem to be too fractured and liberal minded to be able to form a cohesive unit these days. We want to argue and bicker about things, instead of putting our feelings and personal issues aside for the benefit of the common good.

As I have pondered this, I have looked for the reasons for our demise. The reasons are complex, multifaceted and not that easy to explain. Besides, things change. Things always change, so this just may be a matter of evolution and societal decay. Old cultures have to pass away in order for new ones to take root and flourish.

One of the chords that has struck me with a rather deep and resonate tone is what I have dubbed ‘Fear of Failure’. It seems to be the rallying cry for almost every needy person that comes and asks me to help them. They could figure it out themselves, but they are afraid to fail. As if failure will bring some sort of ridicule upon them or make matters worse. They don’t want to accept blame for not being able to do something, so they look for someone else to shift the blame to.

What they seem to have lost here is the simple fact, if you make no attempt on your own to fix a problem, then you fail by default. Failure is, in of itself, a learning process. No one ever goes through life without making mistakes. It would be a nightmare if we did. I live in fear of meeting the person that is 35 years old and has never made a mistake. That just isn’t natural.

I for one don’t have this problem. If something doesn’t work, I will get out a screwdriver or a crow-bar and start tearing into it to figure out what is wrong with it. My co-workers and peers usually stand wide-eyed and shocked as I do this, muttering the words, “aren’t you afraid you are going to break it?”… which I reply, “…it is already broken, staring at it isn’t going to make it work.”

This seems to be the problem. The masses keep looking for the few that have no fear of failure. I just don’t recall our world being like this back in 1941.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Media Update

Best Video Ever.....(well, sort of)

Been a bit busy of late. Hence the lack of whimsical Facebook updates, Blog Entries, or witty comments. We are still trying to pick up the pieces from all the stuff that came down over the past few months in our household, but I am slowing clawing my way to the top of the pile.

In an update to the ‘disconnecting’ from the media post that I did about a month ago, I can't believe what a difference it makes in the quality of our lives. Since we stopped watching broadcast programming on our television set the world actaully is a much better place.

It took a while to get used to not haveing the TV on, much like a herion addict must feel when they go cold turkey, but eventually you get used to it. We filled the time up with more important things like talking to one another and working on projects around the house.

Then after about a week, the wife and I noticed that we just weren’t as stressed out as we had been in the past. We didn’t know how many murders had been committed in our area, we didn’t know how bad the oil spill in the Caribbean was, and we didn’t miss the stupid talking heads on the local new shows passing off restaurant advertisements as human interest stories. What becomes important is the status of our lives and relationships and not what the television tells us we should be worried about. It is actually most liberating.

That being said, we still watch television. What we watch comes in four forms. We have our Netflix account (either by mail-DVD or streaming via the Wii), we have iTunes, where we subscribe to various television shows (sans the commercials), my extensive LaserDisc collection and occasional content that I download from Usenet on the Internet.

One of our guilty pleasures that is now worth watching since there aren’t 25 minutes worth of commercials gunking it up is “The Bachelorette”. In case you have not seen it, this show is a terribly scripted farce that parades around as a ‘reality show’, about a woman whittling down a pack of eligible bachelors to find her true love.

Last night we got a special bonus while watching the most current episode that we downloaded from iTunes. They had an ‘update’ about last years Bachelor, Jake and the woman that he chose to be engaged to, Vienna.

Now mind you, during the last season of the Bachelor, no one could stand this bitch. The other contestants hated her and even the viewing public knew that there was something wrong with this woman. So it was not a big surprise that the relationship went to hell in a hand-basket about 3 months after the show ended.

But this little wrap up from last nights show is a hoot. If anyone has ever had an argument with a spouse or had a relationship end badly, they can identify with this clip. Jake and Vienna go after each other like rabid wolverines.

I think the consensus is that Vienna is a very ‘special needs’ woman that has a lot of attention issues and high expectations. Jake comes off as being a bit alluf and cold and possibly a jerk. The fact that both of them went on national TV for a 13 week dating farce sort of means they both got what they deserved.

I think that Vienna would still be in a relationship, if she could just learn to shut her mouth and learn to stop talking about what ‘she’ wants. Jake’s blowup at the end is classic. While my wife was enthralled and giggling through the entire clip, I was ‘literally’ on the floor kicking and screaming with laughter at this. It is that good.